Timeline: Learn about the Faro Mine remediation project

What is Faro Mine?

Faro Mine was once the largest open pit lead-zinc mine in the world. Today it is one of the most complex abandoned mine clean-up projects in Canada. The Faro Mine site is 25 sq. km: the same size as the City of Victoria, B.C.

It is located outside of the Town of Faro in Yukon, on the asserted traditional territory of the Kaska Nation and upstream from Selkirk First Nation.

1969-1998: Thirty years of mining

Processing the minerals left behind waste rock and finely crushed particles (known as tailings) which have the potential to leach heavy metals and acid into the land and water.

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That’s enough mining waste to cover 70 football fields, 1 metre deep.

  • 1998: Faro Mine is abandoned when the owner declares bankruptcy
  • 2003: Devolution Transfer Agreement takes effect, Faro Mine identified as a shared responsibility between the Government of Yukon and the Government of Canada

Selecting the approach to remediation

Many remediation options were developed and then reviewed at public workshops. Following that, numerous technical studies were completed to refine the remediation approach and then reviewed by independent experts.

2002-2009

What we’re going to do

  1. protect human health and safety
  2. protect and, to the extent practicable, restore the environment including land, air, water, fish and wildlife
  3. return the mine site to an acceptable state of use that reflects pre-mining land use where practicable
  4. maximize local and Yukon socio-economic benefits
  5. manage long-term site risk in a cost-eff­ective manner

How we’re going to do it

  • upgrade dams to ensure tailings stay in place
  • re-slope waste rock piles
  • install engineered soil covers over tailings and waste rock
  • upgrade stream diversions
  • upgrade contaminated water collection/treatment systems

Developing the remediation plan

The project team is moving forward with the fi­nal design of a detailed remediation plan.

Next steps for the project

Who’s involved in the project

Kaska Faro Secretariat

Established in 2016, the secretariat coordinates the Kaska Nation's participation and interests in the project.

Government of Yukon

The Department of Energy, Mines and Resources is leading the ongoing care and maintenance and managing the immediate remediation (urgent works) construction at the site.

Government of Canada

Indigenous and Northern A­ffairs Canada funds the project and is also leading the remediation plan design, regulatory process and site monitoring.

First Nations, Town of Faro and stakeholders are consulted on an ongoing basis to ensure the project incorporates their input. First Nations include the Kaska Nations (Ross River Dena Council, Liard First Nation and Kaska Dena Council) and Selkirk First Nation.

 

To learn more about the Faro Mine Remediation Project.

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